The past two nights have been filled with danger, flashing lights and sounds that made the walls shake.
Sure, it was my 20th wedding anniversary on Wednesday, but that’s not what I’m talking about. Ba-dum-bum (I’m here all week, folks).
It’s severe weather season here in Minnesota.
In light of the recent events in Oklahoma I’m not going to be flip or insensitive about it , but let’s just say that nights spent with weather like this –
make me go like this –
If you feel the need to know more about how I feel about severe weather, read THIS POST.
But this post is about Favorites, which severe weather most certainly is not, so let’s try our best (my best) to forget about it and get started.
Friday Favorites — Roll ’em.
1. Loons –
Taking an easy #1 spot on my Favorites list this week, as well as a secure spot on my all time Top 100 Favorites List (which now that I’ve thought of am definitely going to have to work on this summer) is the Minnesota State Bird.
No, not this guy –
this one –
On our little lake at the Happy Place we have the most lovely loon couple. I’m serious, if Husband and I were loons we’d totally hang with them. They’re chill and happy just to float with each other all day (not like those crazy party loons on the next lake over).
We stalk them every day we’re here in the summer and miss them terribly when they winter in the Gulf (lucky ducks….er, loons).
In the past six years, we’ve been lucky to watch this same loon couple raise a few little loons of their own.
Fun Loon Fact #1 – Did you know that loons return to their same lake each year? When they’re about 4 or 5, they will find a mate (who they will usually keep for life) and choose a territory, or lake, to call home. Since they live to be 25 or 30, that’s a lot of years on the same lake.
And this summer, once again, there are babies! Teeny, tiny balls of fluff that we watched all week swim and eat and float on their mama’s back.
Fun Loon Fact #2 – Loon babies will float on their mama’s back during the first few weeks of their life when they’re cold or just too tired to swim any more. During the first week of its life it will ride on her back often so as not to become — quite literally — fish food.
Here, let me show you. I took this video last weekend. Look carefully as the mama turns around and you’ll see a little fuzzy head poke out from under her wing.
And although I will not relive the horror of the past two summers and the baby loons that were…and then were not, I will say that our lake has many hungry Bald Eagles, Muskrats and Northern Pikes, so it’s important for the babies to stay close for the next several weeks until they grow bigger.
Loons really are a stunningly beautiful bird, with an equally stunning call.
Fun Loon Fact #3 – Loons have four distinct calls, and each has a different message.
If you’ve never heard the loon calls that they make to each other in the early morning or at dusk or really just all day long, I’m sorry.
But don’t worry, I took this video of it for you the other night when we were out stalking.
And then the Daddy loon came barging in and did his crazy call that means “Get the HELL away from my family you idiotic humans or I will peck your eyes out with my giant sharp beak” and made me apologize to the entire family and slowly back away.
The loons are definitely one of my very favorite parts of summer. Fingers crossed we get to watch both babies grow up. It’s been a couple of summers since we’ve seen that happen.
And while we’re on the subject of Minnesota State Birds I must say, like I will say sixty billion more times this summer, that mosquitoes are NOT my favorite. The 15 bites I already have are backing me up on that. Oh, and this thing?
Piece of $6 crap.
2. Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats –
You guys, how is it possible that I’ve been doing Friday Favorites for 15 months and have never included one of my very favorite indulgences? Seriously, I just had to go through the archives because I was certain I was about to be redundant. But nope. Somehow I have failed you, my friends. I’ve kept you from the knowledge of these chewy, peanut-buttery nuggets of shameful gluttony. And I apologize.
When I was ALONE on Monday and Tuesday I may or may not have made a small pan (1/2 a recipe) and eaten it all up. By myself. And I didn’t even bother to cut them, I just picked the whole damn gigantic square up.
Yes, that is a single mini m&m up there in the corner. I only put one on so as not to overdo. Obviously.
Then I swigged my Chardonnay straight from the bottle to wash it down.
Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats – (there’s really not a set recipe, but here’s about what I use)
Put a couple of TBSPs of butter (margarine) in a giant glass bowl. Dump in a bag of marshmallows (small bag for a smaller batch, the large 16 oz. bag for a 13×9 pan) Melt in microwave for about 3 min. Stir stir stir stir. If marshmallows aren’t totally melted, heat again for about 30 sec. intervals. Stir in about 2/3 cups of Peanut Butter. When PB is all marshmallowed in, start stirring in Rice Krispies. I don’t even measure, but for a big pan it’s probably about 5 or 6 cups — I just add RK until it gets too hard to stir. Press into buttered pan (I butter my hands and do it that way. If you’ll remember how I eat them, this shouldn’t surprise you). Cover and chill in fridge for about 45 minutes…or until you can’t take it any more.
And if you really want to blow your mind, use about 4 cups Rice Krispies and 1 cup Reese’s Puffs.
3. This Girl –
12 year old Julia Dale. The Miami Heat’s “Lucky Charm”. Every time she’s sung the National Anthem for them (23 times), they’ve won. And last night was no different. She’s a powerhouse. Adorable. And has some killer pipes. I don’t watch basketball or care who won the finals, but I do love stories like this.
4. 20. I’d be in big trouble if I left out the most important Favorite of all this week. Better than loons. More satisfying than PB Rice Krispie Treats. More entertaining than the little 12 year old Good Luck Charm.
20 years with this guy.
If you read yesterday’s post, you know that Wednesday was our 20th anniversary (and if you didn’t, you should because I was doling out some pretty sage advice like “You don’t always have to shave”). We must’ve blinked. And our marriage and the family we’ve created is so much more than simply a Favorite — it’s my everything.
That’s gonna do it today. I’ve got to get out and check on the baby loons. Since it stormed all night, I need to make sure a house didn’t fall on them.
Have a good weekend!!
CLICK THIS BOX and save a baby loon from being the PB Rice Krispie Treat to a Bald Eagle.